I was born in Salford on 16th August 1921. Attended St. Paul's C of E school Kersal; lr. Kersal Council School, and Grecian St. Central School.
After leaving school in 1935 I worked as a Pawn Broker's Clerk until the outbreak of war in 1939. Having joined the Territoral Army in February 1939 I was called up for full tme service on the 1st of September.
Being under age for service overseas (which at the time was 18 and three months) I was posted with others to our reserve Battalion and sent on guard duties to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Chorley.
After the fall of France in June 1940 everyone was on invasion alert, and we were sent to Lowestoft on the East coast where we were frantically employed in digging trenches, manning pill boxes and keeping our eyes skinned for invasion barges.
In April 1942 after re-joining my old Battalion we embarked with the 2nd British Division in the largest military convoy ever to be organised. Orders were to sail west out into the Atlantic, turn south and east for the Cape, then to continue up the eastern shores of Africa to Suez. The plan was for the Division to join the 8th Army for its next campaign in the desert; but some time in May, new orders reached the convoy commander, and, the 16,000 troops found themselves disembarking at Bombay.
We spent two years in India on Combined Operations with the Navy; and jungle training in Southern India, before being flown up to Assam to oppose the Japanese in their attempt to invade India.
After fighting from Kohima to Mandalay we were flown back to India to train in street fighting in preparation for the invasion of Japan.
© RICHARD PATTERSON 2001